The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) conducted joint research with OREC CO.,LTD. and Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Center, a local independent administrative institution, on a sweeper for fallen leaves, the source of apple scab infections, and decided to commercialize the leaf sweeper as our research achievement in March 2022. The sweeper attained the removal rate of 80-90% for fallen leaves stuck on the ground after the snowmelt, and it can sweep up at about 30 times more efficient than manual work.
In order to reduce the occurrence of apple scab, it is known to be effective to sweep up overyearing fallen leaves, which is the source of infections, and carry them outside the orchards. However, because leaves fall on accumulated snow, we must remove the fallen leaves from the ground after the snowmelt. This makes it difficult to remove fallen leaves with existing machines, and because manual sweeping of fallen leaves is inefficient, developing an efficient apple leaf sweeper was requested for.
Therefore, the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) (Headquarters: Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture) conducted joint research with OREC CO.,LTD. (Hirokawa Town, Yame County, Fukuoka Prefecture) and Apple Research Institute of Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Center (Kuroishi City, Aomori Prefecture), on the leaf sweeper towed by a riding mower. As a result of field tests, the removal rates of fallen leaves at the working sites was found to be 80-90% and it was possible to sweep up fallen leaves of apple trees at about 30 times more efficient than manual work. This sweeper is scheduled to be launched on the market in March 2022 from OREC CO., LTD.